ALEXANDRIA — It's been 71-years since the Madison County 4-H Fair in Alexandria had to be canceled. That was 1949 during a polio epidemic.
Another medical crisis is forcing organizers to cancel this year's fair, which was scheduled for July 19-25. Madison joins a number of other Indiana counties deciding not to have a fair due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Alexandria Kiwanis Club, which sponsors the fair, announced the decision on Facebook:
There will be no will be no “official” Madison County 4-H Fair in 2020 (no carnival, no vendors, no commercial exhibits, no food booths, etc.). HOWEVER, while the “fair” may not exist as we have all come to know it, the Madison County 4-H Association Board of Directors is currently studying the possibility of having some form of “live” 4-H project evaluation. The options presented to the 4-H Association by Purdue are either a “live”-type event, or a “virtual” one. The 4-H Association has established Feasibility Study Committees to determine the feasibility (economically, as well as health and safety-wise) of conducting some form of a “live” event.
Madison County is following the lead of other counties. which won't have a traditional fair, but hope to keep 4-H competitions and events in some form. A decision is expected by May 29.
Gary Summons, Madison County Extension Director and Extension Educator, said the number of COVID-19 restrictions set by Purdue Extension make it difficult to hold a traditional fair this year.
"I know it has been a long, anxious, and arduous journey this year, but I just ask that you please bear with us (the Madison County 4-H program) as the decision regarding the path our 4-H program will take for 2020 will soon be forthcoming," Simmons wrote in the Facebook posting.